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HERO OR HAUL ’Tis the season to receive…

When it comes to Christmas gifting, do you secretly wish for one big wow gift or a glittery pile of stocking fillers on Christmas morning?






Fashion journalist for The Pool, T Magazine: The New York Times, New York Magazine’s The Cut and British Vogue. Instagram @hattiecrisell.

I don’t know which flashy royal dynasty I was adopted from but, while my actual family have never been ostentatious spenders, I have always had a weakness for the finer things in life. Their Christmas lists are long and peppered with little treats – this book, that box set, those gloves – whereas mine are short but razor sharp. Plough the whole budget into quality not quantity, I declare each year because I’d choose a single twinkly glass of champagne over a tray of alcopops any day. Come the morning of December 25, I have no need for a mountain of presents; what I hope for is a solitary sparkling box under the tree. I can buy bits and pieces for myself but come Christmas, please dazzle me. Club together and treat me to the one item I’ve been coveting all year: a gleaming coffee machine, a beautiful wool coat, or a sophisticated suitcase that will get me an upgrade. Give me less time spent unwrapping and make my only gift a showstopper, a life-changer, something that will give me daily delight for years to come. Why drown ourselves in mediocre stuff when we could each have just one carefully chosen, gorgeous thing to enjoy? Life is too short for bulk-buying. So this year, let’s all agree to focus on the very best things in life, the crème de la crème, the wow factor. It’s Christmas so let me behave like a Fabergé-demanding princess for a day, and hand over that enormous gift. I promise to say thank you.


Fashion stylist, art director and founder of The Frugality blog, the-frugality.com. Instagram @thefrugality.

Long gone are the days when I wished for the biggest present under the tree. I’ve got to an age where I have everything I need and it’s the small, thoughtful trinkets and keepsakes that make me happy. And then there’s those perfectly practical presents that make my everyday life richer: oven gloves (yes, seriously), copper pans and beautiful vases. And, more importantly, I love wrapping. That’s the best bit about Christmas anyway, isn’t it? The Washi tape, the reams of rainbow-hued ribbon, the carefully hand-written labels… There’s nothing that makes me happier than a glittering tree on Christmas Eve, stacked high with beautifully coordinating mini presents with the joyous anticipation for the following morning. And maybe because I’ve never been able to stretch to the grand gesture present, I much prefer to give five little presents that will light up the giftee’s face with every reveal than one huge present that’ll be decimated in five seconds and done. Bring on the fiddly tape and mysterious shapes, I’ll be embracing the utter joy of facing a huge pile of presents this year.


Are you a gift minimalist or maximalist? Pick a side this Christmas.



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